Starting today, YouTube will start serving ads on some video creators but will not give them a portion of the ad revenue because they are not big enough to be registered in its Partner Program.
When an ad runs on a YouTube video, those creators typically receive a portion of the revenue through their role in the YouTube Partner Program. With the new monetization rules, a creator who is not in the partner program “may see ads on some of your videos,” according to an update to the platform’s Terms of Service.
Before the update, YouTube said that this video only accepts advertising in certain circumstances, such as when monetized by a record label as part of a copyright claim. The update will mostly affect smaller creators without many views; The YouTube Partner Program requires content creators to have 4,000 hours of total watch time over the past 12 months and to have more than 1,000 subscribers.
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Advertising is big business for YouTube and its parent company, Google, with the video site generating $5 billion in the last quarter alone. Advertising is also a big deal for creators, who may rely on the site’s payouts to support themselves. Now, the company will be able to run more ads on its platform and won’t have to pay several creators in the process. The company confirmed that ads will still not run on videos from non-partnered creators that center on sensitive topics. These include politics, religion, alcohol, and gambling.
The news was not well received by members of the YouTube community. The creator community’s relationship with YouTube over ad revenue has been fraught for many years. In late 2016 and early 2017, YouTube creators participating in the Partner Program saw a sudden drop in ad revenue as the platform struggled to load annoying children’s videos and other harmful content. Then in 2018, the Logan Paul incident caused changes to the Partner Program, and it became increasingly difficult for creators to start earning revenue.
YouTube doesn’t say how many content creators will see ads run on their videos without ads revenue, but the company confirmed channels of all sizes may see ads appear. The company will monitor the impact on the creators.